New York Jets – Inside The Defensive Film Room (Week 1)

Connor Rogers breaks down the Jets week one defensive performance versus the Oakland Raiders.

For the 2014 NFL season, I will be reviewing the Jets’ weekly defensive performance by breaking down the film. After a dominant defensive effort versus the Oakland Raiders, let’s take a look at the game plan and who stood out.

Stand out play #1 – David Harris and Demario Davis on 3rd and 1 in Q1:

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Davis is outlined in orange and will stunt inside when he reads the snap. David Harris is outlined in yellow and plays behind nose tackle Damon Harrison, who commands much of the interior offensive line’s attention. The Raiders are going to run straight up the gut, with fullback lead blocking.

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The Raiders offensive line does a nice job handling the Jets defensive line, but the fullback and Harris will collide like two freight trains. The x-factor of this play is Demario Davis’ read that it’s an inside run and his speed to trail Harris (who is essentially his lead blocker).

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The ball carrier, Maurice Jones-Drew, is about 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage by the time Harris wipes out his lead blocker. Demario Davis has a clear lane to make the tackle, as seen below:

Harris knows his role here and executes perfectly. He stays high, keeping the fullback under him as he attempts his block. This allow Davis to trail behind him without being touched and stop MJD for no gain, forcing the Raiders to punt.

Stand out play #2 – Calvin Pryor seek and destroy:

1st and 10 as the Raiders look to build on their 7-3 lead they hold over the Jets in the second quarter.

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The Raiders are lined up in a dual back, shotgun formation. Notice Calvin Pryor on the right side initially.

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Dawan Landry sees something in the Raiders formation that has him take over the slot on the right side, shifting Pryor over to the deep left side.

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Derek Carr hands the ball off to Marcel Reece, who has blockers out front as illustrated above.

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The Raiders execute (most of) their blocks well, as seen by the open field I highlighted. Pryor displays incredible downhill speed, not only blowing by a lead blocker but by closing on the daylight in front of him as seen below:

Another interesting thing to watch here is Sheldon Richardson’s sideline to sideline speed, pretty impressive.

Stand out play #3 – Sheldon Richardson and Mo Wilkerson rattle Carr with Coples in perfect coverage:

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Although Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson were the ‘stars’ of this play, Quinton Coples was the superb as well. In the screenshot above, I have illuminated Carr’s tight pocket due to being backed up near his own end zone. In the red illumination is the area Coples is responsible for after he jams the tight end at the line. This requires excellent footwork and sideline speed (from a former defensive linemen none the less) to pull off. Let’s take a look below:


Few things to note here:

1) Richardson’s light feet allow him to get off the line of scrimmage from the five tech position (tackles outside shoulder) at an elite rate. The first reaction by many is that he was “unblocked”, which is unfair. The tackle had to choose between him or a blitzing Calvin Pace off the edge. Tackles with no tight end help are often taught to take on the edge rusher in this situation.

As for the guard, he should have picked up Richardson but does not have time to react as he is deciding whether to block him or an oncoming David Harris. Sheldon is in Carr’s tight pocket in around two seconds.

2) Wilkerson is lined up in a true four tech (directly across from the tackle). The right guard (Austin Howard) slides over to double team him. Wilkerson immediately recognizes the stout double team and back tracks into coverage. He is able to swat the ball and kill any chance of a positive gain for Oakland.

3) Quinton Coples is playing stand up outside linebacker. He jams the tight end at the line and immediately bounces back into zone coverage, as I previously highlighted in red. Even if Wilkerson does not make an incredible play swatting this ball, Coples was in perfect coverage to hit the running back as soon as his hands touch the ball.

Follow Connor Rogers: @CRogers_NFL